National Gallery in Palazzo Spinola
Gallery and Historic Building in Genova
The 16th-century palace commissioned by Francesco Grimaldi has become the home of the National Gallery of Palazzo Spinola since 1958, thanks to a generous donation by brothers Franco and Paolo Spinola to the Italian State. The ownership of the palace had passed down through various families, from Grimaldi to Pallavicino, Doria, and finally Spinola. Initially owned by the San Luca branch of the Spinola family and later by the Luccoli branch, the palazzo was donated along with a rich artistic heritage accumulated over generations. This donation came with the stipulation that the aristocratic residence’s appearance should be preserved, serving as a testament to the culture and lifestyles of the prominent Genoese families.
Archival research has allowed for the reconstruction of each owner’s contribution to the palace’s architectural design, decoration, and the development of the painting collection. This has highlighted significant personalities such as Andaldo Pallavicino from the mid-17th century, Maddalena Doria from the early 18th century, and Paolo Francesco Spinola during the turbulent revolutionary era.
The present arrangement aims to underscore the close connection between the owners of the palazzo and the configuration of the two “noble” floors within the building. These floors provide insights into the residential and artistic contexts of the 17th and 18th centuries. The first floor predominantly reflects the Grimaldi and Pallavicino families, while the second floor bears the mark of the 18th-century renovation commissioned by Maddalena Doria Spinola.
Unfortunately, the upper floors that housed private areas for the owners and servant quarters on the third and fourth floors were severely damaged during the city’s bombing in World War II. After the war, they were reconstructed, resulting in the loss of their historical appearance. Recognizing this, the generous donors proposed that, in exchange for preserving the noble floors, the then-forming National Gallery of Liguria could be established here. This gallery was formed with the heritage that was collected and enriched through acquisitions. The upper floors were then restored and opened to the public in 1992, creating the remarkable reality of two interconnected museums within the same historical residence.
The National Gallery in Palazzo Spinola appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Genova!
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Visiting National Gallery in Palazzo Spinola
Tuesday 13.30 – 19.00
Wednesday 9.00 – 19.00
Thursday 9.00 – 19.00
Friday 9.00 – 19.00
Saturday 9.00 – 19.00
Sundays and holidays Closed *
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